In the September issue of the Centurian, we wondered if there was a parallel between the well traveled and marathon runners, noting that it takes a lot of energy and fitness to visit some of the world’s outposts as well as to run in marathons. We profiled the marathon accomplishments of TCC Treasurer Gloria McCoy. The article elicited responses from two TCC members – Edward Sylvester from Nevada City, CA, and Eastern Canada (Toronto) Area Coordinator Rick Shaver. Here are their stories:
Ed Sylvester said he loves the article on Gloria and enjoys the Centurian and looks forward to “the tips from fellow travel nuts.” He and his “athletic supporter” wife, Bernadette, began their travel adventures when he ran the Athens Marathon in 1984. “Up to then we had only been to Hawaii and Mexico but going to Europe for the first time really opened our eyes,” says Ed. “By running a foreign marathon every few years, and travel in between, we soon were able to join the TCC club.
“I was privileged to run the first marathon in Antarctica in 1995 and with subsequent runs on various continents I became the 14th person to ever run a marathon on all the continents. I have run marathons in 17 countries so far.
“I relate to Gloria’s experiences of running in the morning when no one is around and the experiences of seeing a place up close–be it the streets of Jerusalem, the isolation of Easter Island, or the 24-hour light of Arctic Bay (only 16 people showed for that one) – there is magic added,” he concluded.
Rick Shaver says he is a life-long runner, “but not exactly your typical small, thin ‘fit for purpose’ type. I was a 240-pound university football defensive end … hardly built for 26.2-mile runs! However, back in the 1980s I caught the bug and have been at it ever since, with 13 marathons, 20 half marathons, 1 ultramarathon (50 kilometers) this past June, and many dozens of other races. I am still keen on the sport.” Rick says traveling and running are “welcome and very compatible pursuits. I couldn’t imagine packing my biz/personal travel bags without my running gear. It’s a fantastic way to really see a city when ‘pounding the pavement.’”
As we go to press, Rick, and his wife, Jane, were off to Venice where he will run in another marathon. “Yes, I know, how can you run a marathon in a city of water canals? Well, the organizers bus all the runners back to the mainland for about 36 kilometers, then everyone runs back to Venice through a bunch of villages, then over the causeway and 6 kilometers through Venice proper, finishing with a run through the Piazza San Marco.”
Rick concludes: “The running community is very inclusive. Many of the big marathons around the world have foreign representation of runners from 60 to 80 nations. A great bond exists with finishers in some of these races. Like the TCC, marathon running is ‘the passport to peace through understanding’.”
Are there any other TCC marathon runners? Please share your story with us!